The research team that ignited the worldwide cold nuclear fusion controversy will again collaborate in person next week.
University of Utah chemistry professor B. Stanley Pons will leave Monday for England to work with co-researcher Martin Fleischmann at Britain's University of Southampton.Fleischmann, who recently spent a month in Salt Lake City, returned May 25 to Southampton, England.
A U. official said Pons and Fleischmann will continue their work on a second scientific paper they hope will answer naysayers' questions about their experiments.
James J. Brophy, U. vice president for research, said Fleischmann is also scheduled to give a presentation before England's Royal Society and "another prestigious scientific group on the continent" during Pons' visit.
The U. chemist, Brophy said, will be gone between one and three weeks, "but my guess is 10 days."
Pons' trip abroad, he said, will further delay the signing of a collaboration agreement with Los Alamos National Laboratory.
"The last I talked with Stan, he was thinking about sending some of his electrolytes from cells that have produced heat to Los Alamos for tritium measurements," Brophy said. "Any more extensive collaboration would await his coming back the middle or end of June."
As a result of its international workshop held in Santa Fe last month, Los Alamos has positioned itself as the primary collaborator in the international search for cold fusion.
Scientists there, who remain anxious to work with Pons and Fleischmann, produced evidence of an unusual neutron burst in conjunction with Brigham Young University physicist Steve Jones and are looking into heat production results reported by Stanford University, which has replicated the U. experiment.
Los Alamos Director Sig Hecker said researchers have also confirmed large tritium production results from Texas A&M University - the first research group to confirm the U. experiment and still the most ardent advocates of Pons and Fleischmann.
Monday at a national conference in Orlando, Fla., a Texas A&M scientist announced that at least 13 independent teams of researchers are still finding reason to believe that the cold fusion process may be a workable solution to the Earth's energy requirements under the right circumstances.
"We are now very comfortable that what we are seeing here is something that is not chemical, it is something nuclear taking place," A. John Appleby told a conference of the American Public Power Association in Orlando.